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Thread: Honda OEM undercowl tips

  1. #1
    RC-Lori's Avatar
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    Honda OEM undercowl tips

    I just finished installing my undercowl. Here's a few tips to help save you some time and aggravation:

    Tools you will need: rubbing alcohol for cleaning brackets; 10mm box end wrench; 4mm and 5mm standard (angled) Allen wrenches--if you have T-handled ones, grab them, too; flatblade screwdriver; Dremel tool or drill with a small bit for drilling pilot holes; 12.5mm drill bit and a 1/2" drill for it; spare set of hands, if possible.

    I thought the little bit of adhesive they had on the rubber pieces that mount on the bracket pieces was pretty anemic, so, thinking I was smarter than they were, I went through the trouble of putting 3M outdoor double-sided tape on them. Wasn't necessary. There's probably enough on there to hold it together until they're mounted because then it gets squeezed between the bracket and the frame.

    Make sure when you mount the right bracket that the thick piece of wiring that runs on the back side of the frame is out of the way. I fought for over a half hour to get it clamped down, and as soon as I did, I noticed that they weren't flush like the other side, and then I saw the wire. So I tore it back apart, put it together right, and, gee, it only took about five minutes.

    Before threading the main bracket, put the silver flanges in the big holes on the sides of the engine housing first. Then thread the main bracket from the exhaust pipe (right) side first. The hoses on the left side are flexible so it works better that way. The bracket should be oriented so the rubber piece you mounted on it hugs the engine housing. Make sure the mounting holes on the sides are oriented correctly (left side horizontal, right side vertical).

    The fairing halves are assembled with three plastic bolts and nuts. Take your time getting them lined up before tightening them all the way to make sure they're flush and not off-kilter. A regular flatblade screwdriver is a little long, but the tiny one is a little short. Either way, they're kind of a pain to work with.

    I think Honda may have changed the mounting system since some of you put your undercowls on. They now have Allen bolts and what they call "wellnuts" to attach the cowl itself. A wellnut is sort of a rubber grommet with brass threads; it goes through the mounting holes with the flat side to the outside/top and the brass end inside/bottom. It goes in first, then the Tupperware goes next, and lastly the bolt to the outside. They're pretty handy; I have them on my bicycle fairing.

    When dry-fitting the undercowl, attach the side bolts first, and then the top ones. The sides are easier to get to and secure, thus making it more stable for messing with the top ones. That spare set of hands is a plus here because the cowl is really flexy.

    Now for the fun part: drilling the holes in the original fairing. Definitely make a pilot hole first; a white-out pen works great for marking the red paint. We (make that my best friend who has a degree in technical theater and is WAAAY better with tools than I am) used a Dremel type tool. Next, have lunch. Then drive all over creation finding a 12.5mm drill bit--no, that's not a typo; it's written on the instructions. You're not merely drilling a small hole for the bolt; you're drilling one for the wellnut to slide into. Menards doesn't carry them, so I doubt that the other chain home improvement stores will either. Fortunately, we have a specialty tool shop five minutes from home and they had one. Cost: $8.47. However, you need a 1/2" drill to fit it, not the 3/8" drill that most normal homeowners have. What was Honda THINKING?!?!? So if you don't want to spend 100 bucks on a drill, then you have to find a friend or neighbor who is a mechanic or tradesman of some sort and borrow his. I'd also highly recommend having said friend or neighbor drill the holes for you because he'll be way better at it than you are. It's a huge hole in a thin piece of fiberglass and it would be easy to cause damage behind the Tupperware if you're not careful. You can get away with not removing the cowl pieces if you hold them out of the way while your neighbor drills the holes. Failing that, you'd probably have to find a tool rental place who will rent one to you for an hour. The directions illustrate how to wrap a stop around the drill bit to keep it from going in too far, so good luck with that. And you'll probably have to take the cowl back off if your spare set of hands had to get back to her family, so get that ready before you go to the tool rental place so you don't waste your rental time doing it when you get back.

    The finished product looks nice and it's really not hard to do. It's just incredibly aggravating and annoying at times. Hopefully this will make your install go smoother!


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    Lori, RiderCoach: I think I figured out what I want to be if I ever decide to grow up.
    '10 RED Honda NT700V #333 ("The DomiNaTor"); '08 Kawasaki NINJA 250
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  2. #2
    Sailariel Bear's Avatar
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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    RC-Lori,
    Very nice instructions. I will recommend you to Honda as a Tech Writer. Honda's instructions were dismal, to say the least. On the Wellnuts, I used a 1/2" drill bit (almost 12mm) and faired the rest out with a very sharp pen knife. The entire area to be drilled was masked with blue masking tape.

    I like the undercowl. The bike no longer has a "weak chin". The best part is the extra weather protection it offers to those of us who ride in very cold weather.
    "Nothing is impossible--The impossible just takes a bit longer"
    ST-700 "Merlot", 1981 Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer, 2007 Shelby GT
    AMA,United Bikers of Maine,Legion Riders,Patriot Guard Riders,Vintage Japanese MC.

  3. #3
    Moderator Phil Tarman's Avatar
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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    I agree with Alex, Lori! I wish we'd had your instructions when I was installing my undercowl! It does work and looks as good as new after a long winter and a brutal summer.
    Phil Tarman
    Greeley, CO
    NT700VA 2010 SN #0079 -- "Dudley" -- 118,000+ Miles
    IBA # 5811: SS1000(X3), BB1500, BBG
    2013 Four Corners Tour Finisher # 70
    Read about the "Epic Ride" at: www.ptarman1.com


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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    I'm interested in this Farkle but I'm curious about how it looks on the NT. If possible can you post pics of your bike?


    Thanks

  5. #5
    Moderator Phil Tarman's Avatar
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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    Here are a couple of my bike, Kevin.

  6. #6

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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    Thanks Phil that really helps.

    Kevin
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Phil Tarman; 07-01-2015 at 12:45 AM.

  7. #7
    Pick's Avatar
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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    And here's the other alternative - undercowl from Skidmarx:






    Jim "Pick" Foster
    Dixon, IL
    2010 RED NT700V

  8. #8
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    RC-Lori's Avatar
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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    I like the monochromatic look! We'll have to do a bike swap sometime and do a comfort comparison on our feet. I'll try to make it out your way again next year!

  9. #9
    Moderator RedLdr1's Avatar
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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    Quote Originally Posted by RC-Lori View Post
    We'll have to do a bike swap sometime and do a comfort comparison on our feet.
    Or you can see the Deauville UK forum for that comparison... The SkidMarx is the hands down favored lower cowl for weather protection....and they need it a lot more than most of us!
    Wayne
    1987 Yamaha FJ1200
    AMA Life Member

  10. #10
    (Threadstarter)
    RC-Lori's Avatar
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    Re: Honda OEM undercowl tips

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLdr1 View Post
    Or you can see the Deauville UK forum for that comparison... The SkidMarx is the hands down favored lower cowl for weather protection....and they need it a lot more than most of us!
    Nice to know the info is out there--but I'd rather go riding with Jim!

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